Warne, Symonds mock Labuschagne on air, broadcaster apologises

Sydney, Jan 9 (IANS) Kayo Sports, a streaming arm of Cricket Australia’s broadcast partners Fox Sports, was forced to apologise after commentators and former Australia players Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds made derogatory remarks about batsman Marnus Labuschagne.

Kayo said that Warne and Symonds, who were preparing to commentate on a Big Bash League (BBL) match between Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades, were unaware that the stream had gone live.

“Our stream started early and caught some unacceptable comments. On behalf of @kayosports and the commentary team, we unreservedly apologise,” Kayo tweeted.

The conversations started with Warne suggesting that Labuschagne should be handed the ball during India’s second innings on Friday after which Symonds mockingly suggested Labuschagne had ADD, presumed to be attention deficit disorder.

“Give Marnus a bowl,” Warne said. “Do something, that or his ADD,” Symonds then said which drew laughter from Warne who replied: “Jesus, it’s annoying. ‘No!!!’ [imitating Labuschagne batting] Just f***** bat properly.”

Symonds then said: “You’ll have to give him the hogpile, mate, if you keep that s*** up, we’re gonna squash your guts out of your a***.”

Warne had during the first Test in December been criticised for referring to India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara by the nickname ‘Steve’ that was used for the latter by teammates at Yorkshire during Pujara’s stint with the team in County cricket. Former Yorkshire players and employees led by former captain Azeem Rafiq had said, while filing a legal complaint against the team for discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, that the nickname was used for every person of colour.

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